Mucus, Mucus Everywhere


†††† Itís cold and flu season again, which means that right now, all over the country, doctors are pricing Ferraris. Conservative estimates put this yearís number of expected cases at roughly 1,237,985,642,789. Urged by his Cabinet to calm the fears of an uneasy and phlegmy nation, President Bush released the following statement:

ďYou guys, guess what? I have ten toes.Ē

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†††† The disease causing more panic than all others is avian flu, and for good reasonóin the next few weeks, itís expected that avian flu will obtain a cache of weapons-grade plutonium from Iran. Plus, it gives you a sniffly nose. And nobody likes that.

Finding nothing about this dreaded plague in either the Sports or Comics section of my newspaper, I turned to the Internet for information about its symptoms and communicability. What I discovered is this: The Internet has many pictures of naked models. While this did nothing to educate me about avian flu, Iím fairly certain it prevented me from catching it, seeing as how I didnít leave the house all day.

The good news is that avian flu is rare. If you do come down with something, chances are itís just your common-variety cold or Ebola virus, both of which can be treated with over-the-counter products like Robitussin. (Voted ďBest-Tasting Cherry-Flavored Cough SyrupĒ by The Association of People Who Have Never Seen, Tasted, or Heard of Cherries).

Traditional medication not your thing? Then you could always try a home remedy. Handed down from generation to generation, home remedies are cheap, effective ways to give yourself crippling diarrhea with items that can be found right in your own kitchen.

If neither approach alleviates your symptoms, you should visit your doctor at once and threaten to breathe on him unless he prescribes you something stronger. Prescription drugs typically have a high success rate, but there is the drawback of side effects to consider, some of which can be pretty severe. For instance, I hurt my back a few years ago and my doctor wrote me a script for pain pills. Under side effects it said the following:

Donít take this pill. Weíre not kidding. As a matter of fact, put the bottle down on the table right now and back slowly away. Donít act nervous, because the stuff can smell fear. Wait--did you actually take one? Oh, man. Hey Bob, he took one! Dude, didnít you notice the thing bubbling in your hand? I call dibs on your DVD collection!

Of course, the best way to stay healthy in the coming months is to refrain from activities that usually lead to illness, like planning an expensive, non-refundable trip with your family or being asked to give a big speech to the CEO of your company.

Still, despite all your precautions, chances are that youíre going to get sick this winter. When it happens, take comfort in knowing that, thanks to modern technology, you will always have access to pictures of naked models on the Internet.